This post is in honor of Big Daddy Mike, former bassist of the NIHILISTICS. He’s currently in a coma and apparently terminally ill, but he’s still hanging in. I also would like to send my respect to Ron Rancid, who’s a helluva guy.
Without a doubt one of the the greatest moments in the history of Hardcore is the first LP by the NIHILISTICS. Of an absurd brutality and hermetic consequence, this is nothing but canned aggression, desperation and, as paradox as this may seem at first, a desire for a better life. The energy level never falls and the highly dynamic production makes this album of a timeless quality. The LP starts with an explosion – “Appreciation” is an attack on the senses and how it goes into “Death and Taxes” is just perfect. That’s what I love about it: It’s clear, it’s straight, yet it’s distorted, disharmonic and following a vision that is genuine and original. The chaotic bass playing, the little details the guitarist Chris is throwing in, the hectic drumming and Ron’s in-your-fucking-face singing: I will never understand why this band has never gotten more recognition.
People often criticize the obviously staged photos on the back of the album, the over the top nihilism in the lyrics, calling it “not authentic”. When you get hit by a truck, that’s authentic. When you can make your music sound like that truck and your listeners feel like being hit – it’s art. That’s the maximum you get.
On a side note, it makes me really happy to see Ron and the Nihilistics have not taken offense at me for making a bit of fun on their plagiarism on the second LP. Here and here. Here’s the first 7“. Good to see the world is not entirely douchebag-infested.
There’s a remastered CD re-release, I don’t know if you can still get it from the band. “Mad at the World Records” had a vinyl re-release of this in the early 2000s, but that seems to be out of print. The quality of the original Braineater Records makes this worth tracking down: Audiophile vinyl and a great booklet – and the next release on this label was no other than my favorite WIPERS album, “Over the Edge”.
Again, in honor of Big Daddy Mike and Ron, here’s a full vinyl rip of the LP. The folder includes rather rough scans of the booklet.